The COVID-19 vaccines: Recent development, challenges and prospects

Yuxin Yan, Yoongxin Pang, Zhuoyi Lyu, Ruiqi Wang, Xinyun Wu, Chong You, Haitao Zhao, Sivakumar Manickam, Edward Lester, Tao Wu, Cheng Heng Pang

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


The highly infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) associated with the pathogenic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread to become a global pandemic. At present, the world is relying mainly on containment and hygiene-related measures, as well as repurposed drugs to control the outbreak. The development of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial for the world to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, and a collective global effort has been invested into protection against SARS-CoV-2. As of March 2021, thirteen vaccines have been approved for application whilst over 90 vaccine candidates are under clinical trials. This review focuses on the development of COVID-19 vaccines and highlights the efficacy and vaccination reactions of the authorised vaccines. The mechanisms, storage, and dosage specification of vaccine candidates at the advanced stage of development are also critically reviewed together with considerations for potential challenges. Whilst the development of a vaccine is, in general, in its infancy, current progress is promising. However, the world population will have to continue to adapt to the “new normal” and practice social distancing and hygienic measures, at least until effective vaccines are available to the general public.

Original languageEnglish
Article number349
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Global pandemic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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